Brian MacSharry, senior programme officer in the Protected Areas Programme, is currently being featured on the “Ask an Expert” page on the UNEP website from the 26th – 28th August. “Ask an Expert” is an online feature that allows people to interact with and ask questions to different experts each day in order to inform the public about environmental issues and sustainability of natural resources. It also gives internal experts a chance to discuss the work that UNEP carries out, taking into account views from international constituents and stakeholders.
Brian’s area of expertise lies in Protected Areas, more specifically the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), which is a collaborative project between UNEP and IUCN, maintained by UNEP-WCMC. It is the most comprehensive database on both terrestrial and marine protected areas of the world, consisting of spatial information as to where the protected areas are located, and descriptions of these protected areas. Such protected areas may be nationally designated areas, such as national parks, or those designated under international agreements and conventions, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The database remains up-to-date through direct contact with countries and other appropriate partners. This is sometimes challenging as protected areas are created, expanded and contracted on an ongoing basis. Brian’s page on the UNEP website can be viewed here, and to see his profile page for UNEP-WCMC, click here.
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